Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 17
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
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Princeton's Sustainability Movement Takes a Step as Residents, Businesses, Recognized for Efforts

Matthew Hersh

Sustainable Princeton, the initiative first introduced by the Princeton Environmental Commission in 2005, acknowledged community members Saturday for their contributions in sustainability, as well as their regard for Princeton's environmental future.

The awards were presented on Saturday at the Princeton Public Library, just weeks after both Princetons agreed to embark on an energy audit of municipal facilities as a first step toward making sustainability into governmental policy.

That move was fostered after using about a third of a $60,000 Building Livable Communities grant administered by the College of New Jersey's Municipal Land Use Center to contract with a Rutgers-based institute as part of a comprehensive effort to employ sustainable practices through education, physical development, and energy output.

Sustainable practices have become visible throughout the state, with municipalities looking to enhance the efficacy of municipal buildings and infrastructure by reducing energy and long-term environmental effects, as well as through citizen involvement and education.

Saturday's event, timed to coincide with Earth Day the following day, aimed to honor the citizen component of the initiative. "These are people who think about the future when they make decision about the present, who help our economy thrive without destroying the natural environment, and who act as stewards over our natural resources," said Environmental Commission vice chair Wendy Kaczerski.

Winners this year were Kai Marshall-Otto, a Princeton High School student who is a member of the school's environmental club, as well as a member of the Princeton Public Library Teen Advisory Board. The PHS senior also initiated the first, four-day Environmental Film Festival that attracted over 1,000 viewers.

Robert Hackett and Henry and Dana Powsner won awards as "energy saving families." Mr. Hackett and his wife Diane placed solar panels on their roof, while the Powsners, members of Community Without Walls, installed geothermal heating and cooling systems in building an addition to their house,

Fran McManus and Wendy Rickard of Eating Fresh Publications were honored for their "Eating Fresh, Living Local Initiative." The pair hosts local luncheons using locally produced foods from local, small-scale farms. Eating Fresh Publications has published four cookbooks based on the philosophy of supporting local farmers and food distributors.

The Terra Momo Restaurant Group, owner of Teresa Caffe, Mediterra, the Witherspoon Bread Company, and handler of the Herban Garden on Paul Robeson Place, also won for supporting local vendors. The group purchases grass-fed beef from Simply Grazin' Farm in Montgomery, poultry from the Griggstown Quail Farm, and produce from Terhune Orchards in Lawrenceville.

Finally, the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association was honored for its programming in education, science, open space preservation, stream monitoring, and overall advocacy in sustaining the 265-square-mile watershed. The SBMWA was also recognized for the installation of photovoltaic panels that generate about half of the organization's energy demands.

About $30,000 of the TCNJ grant will be used for community outreach.

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